Banana Hobby FMS P-38 Lightning Review & Build Guide!


This video demonstrates how to repair the Landing Gear Door Hinge Pin on the FMS P-38 Lightning…


FMS P-38 nose gear unit….

The spring at the top of the nose strut is a centering spring that is intended to make that steering pin on the strut travel into the “V” shaped horn on the steering servo when the gear is extending down for landing…. when taking off or landing on grass the strut tends to flex or bend back and the pin comes out of the “V” and the strut turns sideways. If your grass is to rough for the strut, it may continue to disonnect that mechanism frequently…also, check that your strut is not bent backwards to much, occassionally i need to bend the nose strut forward so the pin stays engaged in the “V”. If your grass surface is very rough, it may be very difficult to keep the steering pin in the “V” notch…

One technique to use is to hold the elevator fully aft at the start of your takeoff roll.. this keeps pressure off the nose strut and will help prevent the steering pin from disengaging. as the plane begins to liftoff be prepaired to ease the elevator forward so you do not over rotate the plane and stall it…. this is called a “Soft Field” takeoff technique which is used in the real world of flying for taking off on rough surfaces…

Also, when performing this “soft field” takeoff… use a small amount of flaps… this also gets the weight of the nose and because the flaps allow the plane to fly at a slower Airspeed, the plane should rotate in a shorter distance ….

Hope this all helps out! Feel free to post this info if it will help someone out… I have trained many pilots in the real world how to perform these takeoffs and this is how i takeoff on grass with my P-38….


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  • Tony Di Stefano

    Hey Rich,

    Do you think it is possible to put bigger main gear tires on this aircraft? If so, how big can you go?


    A fellow DWC grad

    August 13, 2012
    • Rich Baker

      Hey Tony! You could go about 1/4″ bigger… the problem with the nose is that you are limited by the off set in the strut… with the mains you are limited by the doors ability to close without contacting the wheel… also, you will probably need to trim the inside of the gear wells a little but there is plenty of material there….you would have to try and see what wheels fit in there… My grass is good enough that i do not need to make them bigger… overall it is an awesome plane! Rich

      August 30, 2012
  • Greg Thomas

    Very nice and usefull review on the P-38. Well done!

    September 8, 2012
  • bowers john

    i would like to see a better wire diagram. or a movie i saw 1 time before and cannot find it thank you

    November 18, 2012
    • Rich Baker

      It is a simple wire setup… just connect the 1’s together, 2’s together, etc…. and they will all plug into channels 1 thru 6.

      December 30, 2012
  • mike

    wondering if you could tell me about the wiring on the fms p-38. I have a dx6i, and would like to know if the wiring is just as straight forward as it seems, just plug all leads into corresponding numbered y-harness plug? Or do you have to switch things around? I only have a 6 ch receiver and that should work, but i wondered if I needed to change anything around…..

    December 7, 2012
    • Rich Baker

      It is just as straight forward as it seems. The system just uses a lot of “Y” harnesses so only 6 channel slots are needed in the receiver. Rich

      December 30, 2012
  • Bill

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great build and review video. I bought this plane after viewing your video and it was an immense help in avoiding assembly issues. After flying it on the 3S 3300 mah battery, I wished I’d taken your advice to go with the larger battery.

    The only other thing I would recommend beyond what you said in your video is to reinforce the nose gear steering arm (attached to the strut) with a bent piece of piano wire and CA soaked thread.

    Thanks again for a really helpful video.

    January 16, 2013
    • Rich Baker

      Thanks for posting! Rich

      February 25, 2013
  • Joseph Vella

    The video was a great help with wireing thank you Rich

    July 25, 2013

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